High blood pressure causes
Most people with high blood pressure have primary hypertension, where no cause is known. However, about 1 in 20 people with hypertension have what is termed secondary hypertension. This means that your high blood pressure is caused by either another medical condition or from a medication you’re taking. Listed below are some of the causes of secondary hypertension.
Chronic kidney disease
As the kidneys become diseased, this may lead to excess fluid retention, which exerts more force on artery walls and results in hypertension.
Hypertension can result from problems with hormone producing glands such as the adrenal glands or thyroid gland.
This is a disorder where your body makes too much of the hormone cortisol. It is not well understood why Cushing’s causes hypertension, but there are various proposed mechanisms.
This is where one or both adrenal glands release too much aldosterone. This causes your kidneys to retain salt and water, resulting in hypertension.
This is a rare tumor of the adrenal gland that results in excessive production of hormones including epinephrine and norepinephrine. This can similarly cause hypertension.
Here, an overactive thyroid gland increases systolic blood pressure by increasing the rate and output of blood the heart pumps into the arteries.
In this condition, elevated levels of calcium in the blood can impact our blood vessels, kidney function, and central processes that regulate blood pressure. As a result, about 3 out of 4 people with hyperparathyroidism have hypertension.
Obstructive sleep apnea
This condition is where your breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. Associated drops in oxygen levels may cause increases in blood pressure.
Medications and supplements
Some people may develop hypertension or have their existing high blood pressure worsened as a side-effect of various prescription or over-the-counter medications. These include pain relievers, birth control pills, antidepressants, and drugs used after organ transplants.
Over-the-counter drugs such as decongestants and certain herbal supplements, including ginseng, licorice and ephedra (ma-huang), as well as illegal drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine, may also have the same effect.
Hypertension may exist prior to pregnancy or may develop as a result of pregnancy. Hypertension during pregnancy can be associated with dangerous complications like preeclampsia. Because of this, you should have your blood pressure monitored while you’re pregnant.